The Escapists 2 adds a lot of content and is still the best prison escaping simulator available. There really aren't any major negatives here; if you enjoy the thought of planning prison escapes in a videogame you should pick this up right now.
Recently purchased the GOTY edition for under $10 which includes all of the DLC. The amount of content for that price is insane and I haven't had a chance to play all of the included prisons yet. But what I have played, I have thoroughly enjoyed.
It seems many of the issues brought up by other reviewers have been remedied with patches and game changes. Reading the most recent patch notes, there were a lot of QoL changes and issues addressed. Such as adding manual saving. It may not be for everyone, but if this kind of game interests you, than you won't be disappointed. I hadn't played the first game, so it was my introduction to the series. But I do enjoy games like Prison Architect and the like.
If there’s one thing that is used as a level in games more often than not, it’s being locked up in a jail of some sort. Whether it be the start to a game (Elder Scrolls), or a strategy to take everything away and create a type of escape/stealth mission where you must not only escape your cell, but also must reacquire your gear, it’s a common trope you’ve no doubt seen in video games. One of the reasons this is used over and over is because it’s a fun change from the rest of the game, and an easy way to switch things up. But what if you were tasked with escaping from multiple prison cells as an entire game?
The Escapists 2 expands on the gameplay and options provided in the first entry, while adding a lot of content and features. On top of a more polished game, you’ll be tasked with escaping moving prisons and having the option of doing so along other players. The latter of these two options was especially important to me, as my wife and I are always looking for something to play together, and it seems most games don’t offer the option anymore. This not only allows for local co-op, but online co-op and versus modes. Will you work together to escape the prison, or will you use the other for personal gain and leave them in prison? In versus you will be competing against the clock to escape the fastest, while there isn’t really a time limit with the co-op. All the local modes involve a split screen down the middle, and four squares if you’re popular enough to have three friends.
For those unfamiliar with The Escapists, this offers a tutorial prison in which everything is told in the form a flashback from the comfort of a beach. It teaches you the basics of what to expect in the actual game, but there’s still a lot that you likely won’t pick up from completing that alone. As you explore the first real level by yourself, you’ll come to understand the game proper. You’ll do favors for other inmates, which will earn you money that you can use to pay for items, purchase hints, and use for bribes.
I didn’t find every facet the game has to offer, and I’m 99% certain all of the escapes have single player ways of approaching them, but it was a great addition to the game having to work together to get into certain areas. Simply teaming up to build certain items for your daunting task is exceedingly fun – especially when you’re playing together in the same room and can communicate directly. The game also offers emotes with the D-Pad, letting you communicate online for those that don’t have two systems set up next to each other. However, playing online also means doing so with someone that may not be as friendly, and end up using you to get away. It’s a gamble you’ll face while playing online – albeit a fun one.
Do you take the quick civilian route, perform the classic dig, pummel your way to victory, or follow some other means that may remind you of Metal Gear? These are only a handful of the escapes you’ll discover in your time prison-hopping. How do you choose to escape a moving train? Can you simply walk into space and be done with it? The previous entry was a sandbox as well, but this adds so much to the table.
If you’re new to the series, it’s important to know that the game doesn’t wait on your every whim. Far from it, as you are in a prison full of routine. Miss something like lunch or exercise time, and your heat goes up. Get in a fight; expect to be put down quickly, by guards or the inmate you decided to give a wallop. If the place goes into lock-down, expect to get knocked out and wake up to peeling potatoes, along with losing all of your gear you spent so much time collecting and crafting. While you have a stash in your cell, it can be raided at any point, so you will want to hide your most valuable items in the secret compartment you are provided.
What is at first a very minimalist character creator soon becomes a robust creation tool as you unlock new options through gameplay. The graphics got a bit of an update, so it certainly looks nicer. The prisons have many layers to explore, opposed to just one or two levels. It also features leaderboards for each level, with filters for everyone that plays the game, yourself, and friends you know – additionally, you can see whether they were playing Singleplayer, Multiplayer, or Versus.
The Escapists 2 has this draw for success, despite likely involving lots of failure your first or fifth time through. I found myself telling my wife how we’d be breaking out of jail while eating, showering, and while she was sleeping. With multiple escapes to accomplish, competitive multiplayer, leaderboards, and co-op jailbreaks, it’s hard to not love everything this game has to offer. The dialogue can be completely overlooked, but you’d be missing out on a lot of great humor. This entry takes the original and puts it in overdrive, and it’s everything you could want from it.
The Escapists 2 makes a valiant effort at being a challenging, realistic take on prison life, but is a let-down in some crucial areas. The inadequate tutorials fail to capture what the rest of the experience demands, and even when this code is cracked it all becomes tedious quickly. It's a game behind the times, from the way it plays to its awkward design choices, and its weak performance and optimisation on consoles is further cause for frustration. For those willing to put themselves through an unbalanced learning curve there is some enjoyment to be had on the far side, but beyond the fleeting charm of some of the levels, the rest of the experience falls flat.
Very nice with the new multiplayer (was missing in TE1)! Much fun to find a way out with friends. Simple to learn, hard to master. You have to concentrade hard on higher level jails.
Negative: 1) Map editor not for PS4. 2) Versus-mode could have more roleplay elements.
Team 17 & Mouldy Toof Studios bring us The Escapists 2, a top down strategy game. You must escape many scenarios; like a prison for example. There are many ways to escape a prison, but that is not all you do. Following a schedule and protocol is necessary to keep out of trouble. There are many ways to escape from the levels, by acquiring a variety of items; like weapons, keys, and uniforms. Collect these items by taking them from prisoner’s desks or earn coins by doing tasks for prisoners and buying the items from other prisoners. The prisons are not just in buildings this time. There are prisons on trains, submarines, airplanes and much more. As you progress through the levels, they become more difficult. You must collect keys in order to unlock more levels, which can become frustrating. As you try to escape while time is running out, you must cover your jailbreak attempt with an item such as a desk, masking your attempt during inspection.
The Escapists 2 feels like a great sequel and is truly a unique experience.
The Escapists 2: 7/10
SummaryBust out anywhere, with anyone on the Nintendo Switch. Team up with another inmate for local two player split screen mode, taking a Joy-Con™ each to either team up to break out, or work against one another to determine who’s the quickest convict to make an escape. Risk it all to breakout from the toughest prisons in the world. Explore th...